When HBO finally released the first season of Westworld, it was well worth the wait as it quickly became one of the network’s greatest shows since Game of Thrones. It took a bit for the next season to come along, but here we are with Westworld: The Complete Second Season. It isn’t as deep as the first and has a few issues fans while find disappointing, but it’s still fun, hardcore sci-fi that continues to push what happens when mankind plays god and AI runs wild.
Featuring all ten episodes from the season, this one picks up not long after the disturbing and violent events from the previous one while also pushing the show into an entire different direction as it goes on. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) takes a dark turn this time around as she cuts loose on many of the guests visiting and trying to take advantage of the machine hosts, Maeve (Thandie Newton) continues her quest in the outside world to find her daughter with strange results, the Man in Black (Ed Harris) returns to resume his pursuit of discovering the secrets behind Westworld and the other worlds DELOS have going on (including a look at the Japanese themed Shogun World).
Then there’s Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) who is still coming to grips with who he is and where he stands in the battle between machines and humans where his mettle is constantly being tested by both sides. To me, this is what makes the season and show as a whole so entertaining, as there’s so much mystery to dive into as well as seeing how far the chaos will go when machines become self-aware and how they deal with it is always a joy to watch.
But there were some questionable choices made this season that will have fans a bit peeved as well as scratching their heads, such as the dark direction Dolores is going in now as compared to her sweet and innocent nature from the first season. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice seeing her get some payback for herself and some of the other host machines there against greedy, lustful guests that arrive, but to keep her dark and twisted was a bit of a letdown. Then there’s other weird choices that I won’t spoil that will have you wondering if you’re even watching the same series you started out with.
As with the first season set, the 4K HDR visuals and Dolby HD audio come through nicely and make sure every detail is seen and heard perfectly, which is a must for a show with so many mysteries and clues to go through. Once you’re left wondering what’s next, there’s a nice amount of extras to go through, starting with loads of behind the scenes pieces such as “Reflections on Season Two” that go into the characters of Dolores, Teddy and Bernard as the cast and crew reflect on the changes they go through here.
“Of Love and Shogun” goes into the characters of Maeve, Hector and Lee as well as the Japanese themed Shogun World, while “The Buzz: On the Red Carpet” shows off some of the red carpet premiere. Then there’s a few “Creating Westworld’s Reality” that delves into some of the show’s lore such as “The Delos Experiment” and quite a few more. “Paved with the Best Intentions: The Evolution of the DELOS Corp.” gives viewers a look into the infamous company, and there’s a few more you can look into as well.
Even if it’s not as well crafted as the first season, Westworld: The Complete Second Season is still a great piece of hardcore sci-fi with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing in both good and bad ways. Combine it with a perfect 4K HDR transfer and a load of special features that shed some much welcomed light on some of the mysteries of the show, and you have a release worth dodging crazed machines to pick up for your collection.